Yes, this book is worn. Yes, the pages are discoloured. Yes, this book is old ish – had it about 16 years). But this book is loved by me and hopefully by the end of this review, you will be hunting down a copy too.
I will start by saying that I am huge fan of Stephen King but that doesn’t mean that I love each and every one of his books. A few of my friends avoid King’s books like the plague; they boxed him up and placed him on the ‘Horror’ shelf years ago. Yes, he does write horrors but that is just one of many genres he taps into. Introducing ‘The Green Mile‘…
The Green Mile is presented to us through the eyes of Paul Edgecombe, who was the ward superintendent at Death Row at Cold Mountain Penitentiary (aka ‘The Green Mile’) in 1933: the year of John Coffey. We accompany prisoners and the wardens down the green coloured linoleum right to the room that houses ‘Old Sparky’. There are heart felt twists and turns along the way, with supernatural forces thrown into the mix. Who lives? Who fries? And in the end, is justice served?
Taking the supernatural elements aside, this book really gives you a realistic insight into life on death row from the eyes of the wardens, and the prisoners themselves. I guess to many that may sound pretty depressing..King spends a lot of time engrossed in character description but that is not a bad thing. You are accompanying men on such an emotional journey that for some, ends with them being strapped to ‘Old Sparky’. It can be hard to read at times but if this was a walk in the park, King would not be doing justice to the subject matter at hand. You have characters who are evil, dangerous and there are some violent and gruesome scenes. But there is light in this darkness: the relationship between Paul Edgecombe and John Coffey is nothing short of beautiful. It is honest, heart felt and unexpected when you consider the positions they both hold: the prisoner and the man who is paid to say the words “Roll on two”.
After I have finished a book, I sit back and ask myself what underlying message was hidden between the pages. I love asking people that question because I get such a variety of answers. For me, this book begs you not to judge a book by it’s cover. Read it and tell me what you think.
Some people prefer to watch the movie rather than read the book (and I will add here that the movie itself is fantastic and very like the book which is rare) but I would strongly encourage you to read this book. Each time I turn the pages, this book conjures up the same emotions in me that it first did when I picked it up at 15. You laugh but wow, do you cry. And of course you do, because ‘sometimes, oh God, The Green Mile is so long’.
Are you a fan of Stephen King? Have you read The Green Mile? Is there any books that I need to read that have touched you in the same way? Comment below or tweet me @thingsarahloves